By Madeline Grimes
Beauty queens and glamour goddesses on your list will go crazy for any of these must-have items of the season. Men giving these to their wives and girlfriends will surely get an extra kiss under the mistletoe.
1. Eye and Blush Palette
Created by Japanese make-up legend, Shu Uemura, this limited edition eye and blush palette is the perfect gift for your friend the Glamazon. Like all Shu Uemura products, the Reindeer Kiss Palette ($69) merges make-up and art to create a look that screams hip. And the cover design is sure to impress; a funky rendering of what happens when a reindeer and a girl meet under the mistletoe (yes ladies, dreams do come true). Includes three pressed eye shadows, one cream eye shadow/eye-liner, a cream high-lighter, a glow on blush, and two applicator brushes.
2. Eyelash Miracle
Every woman dreams of long, thick, curled eyelashes without the dreaded Tammy Faye effect. And now, finally, there is a mascara that actually delivers. Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes Mascara ($29) uses an admittedly odd-looking round sphere applicator (think: applicator mores suited to astronauts than earthlings) to apply mascara from root to tip. Leaves eyelashes separated and curled to bring out the beauty of your eyes.
3. Perfect Pout
Prepare for all your mistletoe moments this holiday season with the (aptly named) Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag by MAC ($36). The multi-tartan and black patent leather bag includes the Baron’s Rose Lipstick, the Draw Me Close Lip Pencil, and the Moth to Flame Dazzleglass. The names of the products say it all: prepare to be wooed.
4. Organic Bath Salts and Soaps Gift Set
Treat your friends a little decadently this year guilt-free. This green gift set includes your choice of 6 bars of organic soaps and 2 sachets of skinnyskinny’s five organic bath salts ($70). Best yet, the box, designed as a faux-book, is made from sustainable wild-grass and is completely logo-free, perfect for reuse! Choose from a wide variety of soaps; favorites include organic coriander and lemon and organic basil mint.
5. Hair Accessory
You may be tempted to keep this Feathered Finery Headband ($32) for yourself, visions of the forthcoming compliments on that “stunning headpiece” clouding your better gift giving judgment. Yes, the crystal-studded peacock plumes on this band will garner much attention from the adoring masses, “so stylish,” they’ll whisper enviously. Yes, your niece will actually send you a thank you letter with zero prompting from her mother. Yes you should buy two; one for you and one for... Well, the important thing is that you remembered to check yourself off your guest list.
6. Travel-Size Beauty Goods
We all have that jetsetter friend, off to Paris at the drop of a hat, Hong Kong the following week. Lucky dame. But don’t envy her too much; think of all the packing, the 8-hour flights seated next to snoring strangers and the endless, mind-numbingly long waits at the airport. Ok, if that still doesn’t work, practice your own inner grace by giving her Philosophy’s The Travel Agent ($35), perfect, travel size containers of Philosphy’s Grace, Purity, and Hope. Included in a clear bag with sliding zipper: one-step facial cleanser, Hope in a jar moisturizer, Amazing Grace shampoo, bath, and shower gel, Amazing Grace firming body emulsion, and Amazing Grace hair conditioner.
7. The Gift that Keeps Giving
Give back this holiday season with the She’s The First Signature Bracelet ($20). She’s The First is a non-profit organization dedicated to sponsoring the education of girls worldwide. These beautiful hand assembled leather and brass bracelets created by Atlanta-based designer Asha Patel donate 20% of every sale to two of She’s the First partners: the Shanti Bhavan school in India and the Kenya Education Fund. The money will be used to sponsor the tuition for girls who otherwise could not afford to receive an education.
8. Winter Sun Protection
Just because the sun sets before you leave the office, and your summer tan has long since faded, doesn’t mean you can forego sun protection. The sun’s rays can still damage your skin and the reflection of UV rays off the snow can cause severe burns. Kiehl’s Vital Sun Protection Lotion ($19.50) is the perfect gift for all your ski-bum friends: The lightweight, non-greasy formula also contains skin conditioning ingredients to help repair and soften dried skin. Sun lotion is available in a variety of sun protection factors.
9. Skin Care
The winter wreaks havoc on skin, leaving it dry, scaly, and aching for moisture. Thankfully, First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream (assortment of sizes available for $15 - $39) is here to the rescue. Formulated with colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and eucalyptus oil, this fragrance-free cream provides instant relief to aching skin and visible improvement. The cream can be used on both the face and body, and is safe for even the most sensitive skin. So, give your skin the relief it deserves. You’ll look and feel so much better if you do.
10. Make-up Bag
Miss Albright’s Whirly-Twirly Clutch ($28), which doubles as a coin purse, is the perfect accessory to hold your lipstick or mascara for a night on the town. Silk cloth winds around the exterior of the purse to create a beautiful, whimsical rosette. Available in yellow, teal, or purple it’s sure to complement any New Year’s outfit. If you’re feeling particularly playful, use it as your only purse!